Fake fives found in Lewistown

By: 
JENNY GESSAMAN
Reporter

The Lewistown Police Department is investigating counterfeit $5 bills received by two local businesses in early January.

Assistant Chief Ryan Berry said the department used counterfeit detection pens to confirm the money was fake. The differences could also be seen with the naked eye.

“Upon close examination of the bills, there were obvious discrepancies,” he said. “You could tell they were counterfeit.”

Only a small number bills were passed, according to Berry, and had little financial impact on the two businesses.

The investigation into the counterfeits’ source is ongoing, but Berry said the United State Secret Service has already been contacted. He explained they are the federal agency that looks into fake money.

Counterfeits aren’t typical in Central Montana, but Berry said the department wasn’t caught off guard.

“It’s not really common, but we get a few of these each year,” he said.

If anyone is suspicious of their own cash, Berry said an attentive eye is usually all that’s needed.

“Just look at them closely,” he said. “A lot of times, the counterfeit bills we’ve come across, if you look at them fairly closely, you cant start seeing discriminations in them. A lot of time, the paper doesn’t feel quite right, the edges don’t match, the color is off a bit.”

Berry recommended businesses and people alike should stay vigilant. Getting reimbursed for counterfeit bills isn’t always easy.

“A lot of it would depend on someone being charged [with the crime], and the court ordering restitution, for them to be reimbursed,” he said.

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